Washington, Oct. 21 (Reuters): US authorities now believe it was September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who slit the throat of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan early last year, a US official said today.
“That is our current belief,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “We have come to that belief over a period of time.”
The official declined to reveal what information led US authorities to come to that conclusion.
Mohammed is suspected of being the chief planner of the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed about 3,000 people.
He was captured in Pakistan in March and held at an undisclosed location where American authorities have interrogated him.
Pearl disappeared in Karachi in January 2002 while investigating a story on Islamic extremists. He was later found murdered and a videotape showed a man, whose face was not shown, slitting Pearl’s throat with a knife.
Reports from the region had previously said Mohammed was suspected of killing Pearl, but now US authorities are also concurring in that belief.
“We didn’t know one way or the other, our government has subsequently come to the conclusion that what they were saying was correct,” the US official said.